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By Douglas Sciorra

Steuben County Legislature announces plan for redistricting, public vote on November 8

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The city of Hornell and five townships are included in the proposal

On Nov. 8, voters in Steuben County will be asked to cast their ballots on proposed changes in the county Legislature’s districts.

The changes – the first in nearly 40 years – were adopted by the county Legislature in June, subject to a public referendum during the November General Election.

The plan maintains representation with 17 legislators but reduces the number of districts from 13 to 11:

  • District 1 (City of Hornell) absorbs the current legislative district of Hornellsville which includes the towns of Dansville, Hornellsville and Hartsville and maintains the current number of legislators assigned to both districts.

— Representation in the new district would be set at three legislators.

  • District 3 (Town of Bath) adds the Town of Bradford.

— Representation would remain at the current level with two legislators.

  • District 5 (Town of Urbana, Prattsburgh, Pulteney) adds the Town of Wayne.

— Representation would remain at the current level with one legislator.

  • District 7 (Town of Erwin) adds the Town of Campbell, and adds one legislator.

— Representation would increase to two legislators.

In the past, Steuben’s districts were assigned a “weight” to legislative votes, to ensure every resident was equally represented.

However, population shifts, reported in the 2020 U.S. Census, show a continued and dramatic increase in the Town of Erwin and a decline in the City of Hornell, making weighted votes more complex.

Under new state laws, the legislators have considered dozens of options since the beginning of the year, designed to represent urban and rural needs and bring residents in all districts into equal standing.

If approved by the voters Nov. 8, the change will be the most significant one since 1984, when voters approved the move from a 34-member Board of Supervisors to the current 17-member county Legislature. More recent changes include a change from county Administrator to county Manager and adopting the county Charter.

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